Friday, January 2, 2015

PrincipleCentered

We see and abhor it all the time:  some who hold positions of leadership become "lost" (or, they may have never known "the way" in the first place).  These leaders (whether parents, bosses, generals, or politicians) seem committed to making decisions with two objectives in mind:

  1. Maintain and secure their position of leadership.
  2. Make their personal lives cheesier (no matter the impact on others).
This mindset and behavior is what I think of as principleless leadership.

The leaders I prefer to follow (and admire and support and emulate) operate from a completely different paradigm.  They communicate, make decisions, and commit acts consistent with their principles, regardless of trending sentiment, regardless of short-term advantage, regardless of poll data.

Those principles can come in a lot of packages and can be articulated in many ways, but here are just a few worthy examples:

  • WE are more important than I am.
  • The least of us is just as important as the greatest of us.
  • What we say/do/decide today should provide positive outcomes for future generations.
  • Truth must always trump dishonesty.
Each of us gets to choose how we operate our lives on a daily basis.  Oddly, principle-centered leadership not only serves others better, but it is far more self-actualizing for the leader himself/herself.

Leading from sound principles is very much like the root system of a mighty tree - it secures us, it feeds us, it grounds us, it bolsters us in the angriest of storms.

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